Union & Lobby Groups Respond to Ontario Government Plan to End Agreement With Beer Store

TORONTO, ON – Following on yesterday’s announcement that the Ontario Government has tabled a bill to scrap the Master Framework Agreement (MFA) between the province and The Beer Store, and a subsequent threat of legal action from the latter, several organizations affected by the move have issued their own responses.

The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) expressed support for the government’s plan, with OCB President Scott Simmons saying that “Ontario has some of the best craft beer in the world, but the MFA makes them too hard to find. Moving to end that sweetheart deal will finally put the interest of consumers and craft beer lovers ahead of a few foreign-owned multinationals.”

On the negative side, Warren (Smokey) Thomas of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) – the union which represents LCBO workers in the province – issued a scathing assessment of the plan, saying that is it “deeply disappointing that the Ford government is proceeding with this reckless plan to pave the way to further privatize alcohol sales. It is both socially and fiscally irresponsible.”

More receptive to the proposed changes is the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), which offered a statement that says the plan will “bring the system into the modern era. The diverse selection of craft breweries, wineries, and cideries in Ontario is unique and consumers want to enjoy the products they love while supporting local businesses. Ontario convenience stores believe that expanding to convenience, grocery and big box retail stores will unlock new valuable opportunities.”

For more details, follow the links above to see the full statements from each organization.

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